How Does Carlisle Spend Time Off?
Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2004
If you'd like to pose a Question of the Day to Conrad Brunner, submit it along with your full name and hometown to Bruno' Brunnerís opinions are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Pacers players, coaches or management.

Conrad Brunner
Q. I was just wondering what Rick Carlisle does during the offseason. Given that the season is very tedious, does he just relax during the offseason? Or does use his time to build toward the next season? (From Tomi in Terre Haute, IN)

A. NBA head coaches have different styles, different personalities, different philosophies and different demeanors, but they tend to share one rather strong trait: they love their jobs. In fact, itís not even a job to them, itís a true passion. When theyíre not coaching, theyíre thinking about coaching. Thereís no clinical diagnosis but, realistically, there are a whole lot of coach-aholics on the sidelines.

Carlisle definitely loves his job, but he did find some time to relax during the offseason. He played a little golf, although he finds it increasingly difficult to carve out enough time to get in a full 18 holes. He spent quality time with his wife, Donna, and new daughter, Abby, taking a couple of family vacations. But he also spent time working on schemes and gameplans, watching plenty of film, and traveling around the country visiting various players to keep in touch. He spoke to others by telephone.

He also had to make a change to his staff, hiring Kevin OíNeill to replace Ron Rothstein, whose contract expired (he subsequently was hired by Miami). And, of course, thereís the two-week summer league stretch in July. Coaching can be an all-consuming profession, and itís important to keep job and life separated as much as possible. Carlisle does as good a job of that as any Iíve seen, but itís not like he locks himself in a workshop and builds model ships during his down time. Even when there arenít any games, coaches find a way to coach.